AG's Office affirms no obstruction to President-Elect's swearing-in amid Speaker's no-confidence motion

The Attorney General's Office has informed the Supreme Court that there is no obstacle to the swearing-in of President-Elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu despite the no-confidence motion against Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

The main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) initiated the no-confidence motion against Nasheed on October 9, with 49 MDP MPs backing the motion. However, multiple sessions intended for hearing the motion were canceled due to Deputy Speaker Eva's absence due to illness, leading to legal action by the MDP to expedite the proceedings. The MDP has also declared its intention not to accept the President-Elect's swearing-in on November 17 if Nasheed remains Speaker.

During the first hearing in the case held at the Supreme Court today, the Counsel General of the Attorney General's Office, Fathimath Haleem, responded to queries posed by Justice Husnu-al-Suood. She emphasized that the Constitution mandates the new President's swearing-in on the day the outgoing President's term concludes. She said as per the Parliament rules, the only limitations in the context of an impeachment motion are restrictions on debating issues and passing them.

“The Constitution says that the new President must be sworn in on the day the outgoing President's term expires,” she explained, pointing out that no rule can be established that contradicts constitutional requirements.

In the petition submitted to the Supreme Court, MDP seeks a ruling that in accordance with Rule 205 (e) of the Parliament's Rules of Procedure, the Parliament is obligated to adhere to Rule 44 in case of the Deputy Speaker's absence from presiding over a sitting with a pending impeachment motion.

In addition, while Rule 205 (d) states that if an impeachment motion has been moved against the Speaker, any other matter moved by the parliament at that time may be debated or decided only after a decision has been made on the impeachment motion, MDP has also requested that the Parliament is not allowed to schedule any other session until after deciding on the motion to remove the Speaker from office.